A recent teardown analysis by ABI Research has managed to identify 512MB of RAM, an ARM-based CPU, a Broadcom Wi-Fi module, an accelerometer and gyroscope, along with a few other components, packed inside the S1. Today, semiconductor experts over at Chipworks have updated their teardown of the S1 package with a few interesting tidbits related to the type of process technology used while revealing some rather unique design solutions making such small yet powerful package possible. The S1 contains as many as thirty individual components combined in some unique ways and sealed inside the tiny package that measures just 26mm x 28mm. Application processors are usually CPUs capable of running code in a bitcoin 28nm process operating system environment.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801-805 chips were built on the 28nm process up until a few months ago, as were Nvidia’s K1 processors. If built on a smaller-than-28nm process technology, it would permit faster performance, lower power consumption and a smaller die size, potentially freeing up room for some of the health sensors that reportedly didn’t make it into the current version of the Watch. Seen below: the sealed S1 package. Remarkably, the new application processor measures just 5.
This allows higher component density in such a tiny wearable device. The S1 package is pretty unique in term of manufacturing, too. Again, Apple’s suppliers had to cram over thirty remarkable tiny individual pieces of silicon into a 26mm x 28mm package. All these components are soldered to a common motherboard which is then overmolded with a packaging compound containing silica or alumina spheres suspended in a resin to protect the electronics.